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Museum of Classical Archaeology Databases

Votive Relief of Dionysos and Ikarios

The subject depicted here is unclear. It may represent a poet welcoming the god Dionysos into his house to give thanks for a victory in a poetry competition. Or it may reference a particular story from the mythology of Dionysos and show the god, with his satyrs and drunken followers in tow, visiting Ikarios, a farmer in Attica, to introduce him to the gift of wine.

According to the myth, when Ikarios demonstrated the cultivation of grapes and the resulting vintage to his people, they thought he was trying to poison them. In drunken haste they killed Ikarios, bringing the wrath of Dionysos on the murderers and the people of Athens

Location of Original: 

Naples, National Museum 272.
Similar copy in the British Museum (2190)


Purchased in 1884 from the Paris Beaux Arts


Hauser: Die Neu Attischen Reliefs (1889), 191, no.4
Lippold: Griechische Plastik, 368 (n.7)
Ruesch: Guide to the National Museum, Naples, 87-
Brunn-Bruckmann: Denkmäler Griechischer und Römischer Skulptur, 344b
Walston: Catalogue of Casts in the Museum of Classical Archaeology (1889), 92, no.498

C1 BCE - C1 CE

From the Museo Borgia

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